Reflection of Aristotle

967 words 4 pages
Reflection of Aristotle
Aristotle believed that the goal of all human life is to achieve ultimate happiness. Happiness is the final Utopia or the end of “a life worth living.” Human instinct is characterized by achieving personal fulfillment, thus leading to happiness. Aristotle warns against going astray and “preferring a life suitable to beasts” by assuming happiness and pleasure are equal. Living a life preferred by beasts incapacitates a person from achieving the end Utopia. Even though Aristotle does not equate the two, he does stress that minimal pleasure is required to achieve happiness. Someone lacking in vital necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter are not capable of achieving happiness due to their lack of pleasure.
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Rational thought is what distinguishes humanity from other species. Aristotle sets forth five principles to define the activity of contemplation. First, reason is the key concept of contemplation. Humanity is distinguished by the use of reason. Other life forms are not capable of contemplating problems like humans. Second, reasoning is continuous. While writing a philosophy paper, a student may contemplate other situations surrounding them such as parents, other classes, and etc. but still maintain focus on their paper. Thirdly, a person can reason independently. The use of external resources is not required when contemplating. The use of machines, other people, and etc. cannot hinder or encourage reasoning. Reason is ultimately independent of external stimuli. Fourthly, contemplation does not bring tangible rewards. Reasoning in itself is the benefit. Contemplation is “…the very best within us…” thus the best form of life, which is comparable to God, according to Aristotle.
According to Aristotle, moderation is the key to a virtuous life. Moderation is the balance between two vices where virtue is found. Too much, or too little, of a virtue creates a vice. Certain actions that are innately evil cannot be moderated into good, such as actions committed out of spite or jealousy such as thievery or adultery. To achieve the


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